Photo/IllutrationAn F-15 fighter jet at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Annoyed by another delay, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said March 7 that he wants U.S. military officers in Japan to be more expedient with reports about parts falling from their aircraft.

“I would like to ask U.S. officials to be more diligent about their reports because there have been a number of recent cases in which reports have been late or not made at all,” Onodera told reporters.

He was referring to an incident in which an antenna fell from a U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jet that took off from the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture on Feb. 27.

However, it took officials of the 18th Wing of the Kadena Air Base until March 5 to ask the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to pass on the report about the lost antenna to the Foreign Ministry.

The antenna was attached near the aircraft tail, weighed about 1.4 kilograms and was about 38 centimeters in length and about 15 cm wide.

The loss of the antenna was confirmed after the F-15 landed, but it remains unknown where the part was lost.

There have been a series of incidents since late last year of parts falling off U.S. military aircraft.

In December, a window weighing about 8 kg detached from a U.S. Marine CH-53E helicopter and landed on the grounds of the Futenma No. 2 Elementary School in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture.

On Feb. 9, an Osprey transport aircraft based at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan dropped an approximately 13-kg part into the ocean. The part was found washed ashore on Ikeijima island in Uruma city, also in Okinawa Prefecture.

The U.S. military did not report about that incident until Defense Ministry officials inquired about the matter.

On Feb. 20, the engine of an F-16 fighter jet at the U.S. Air Force Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture caught fire soon after take-off, and two fuel tanks were jettisoned into Lake Ogawarako before the jet made an emergency landing.